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New Mersenne prime discovered, and promptly printed out

Breaking news! On 19th January 2016, the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search discovered a new largest prime number – we know 49 Mersenne primes, the largest of which is now $2^{74207281}-1$, a number containing over 22 million digits and full of primey goodness.

Internet Maths Person Matt Parker has responded to the news in spectacular style, by issuing a 14-minute long video explaining the discovery and its implications, as well as somehow scoring an interview with the actual discoverer of the new prime, Curtis Cooper.

Relatively Prime Recap: Season 2, Episode 2: Your Daily Recommended Math[s]

Relatively Prime: Your Daily Recommended Math

Maths – as teachers are fond of telling anyone who’ll listen – is everywhere. In this difficult second episode of the difficult second series of Relatively Prime, Samuel Hansen shows us a few important places where it can be a help: at the petrol pump, at the birthday party, in the car park and at the bar — or rather, in deciding whether to go.

The Aperiodical’s Actually Hexagonal Snowflake Competition 2015

no bad snowflakes


To celebrate the year end, as well as our daily Advent Calendar posts, we’re also running a little competition – last year we did a pun competition, and this year it’s something a bit more crafty – well, it’s a knitting competition in which the knitting is optional.

Puzzlebomb – September 2015

Puzzlebomb Logo

Puzzlebomb is a monthly puzzle compendium. Issue 45 of Puzzlebomb, for September 2015, can be found here:

Puzzlebomb – Issue 45 – September 2015

The solutions to Issue 45 can be found here:

Puzzlebomb – Issue 45 – September 2015 – Solutions

Previous issues of Puzzlebomb, and their solutions, can be found here.

UK National Lottery: now 21% more balls (rounded up)

This week, it was announced that from October the UK’s National Lottery, currently operated by Camelot and already providing a veritable Merlin’s cave of probability lessons for maths teachers, will be changing the rules for its main ‘Lotto’ draw. The main changes are that a new £1m prize will be added to the raffle element you didn’t know already happens, and that matching two balls will win a free ‘lucky dip’ ticket in the subsequent draw. The fixed £25 prize for matching three balls remains on the round table (even though it sometimes causes hilarious number gaffes).

But the Sword of Damocles hanging over Camelot’s changes is that there will be an extra ten balls to choose six from (59 instead of 49), dramatically lengthening the odds of winning all of the pre-existing prizes. This is our round-up of the media’s coverage of this mathematical “news”.

Maths at the Cheltenham Science Festival, 2015

cheltenham science festival 2015

Next week, Cheltenham takes a break from being the home of horse racing and literary and music festivals, and generally being a regency spa town, to put on their amazing Science Festival. There’s a decent amount of maths in the programme, so here’s a round-up of the maths on offer (leaving aside, of course, the fact that all science is maths, there’s also a bunch of science events you might be interested in too).